Local News

Durham police warn about 'appointment' robberies

Posted December 27, 2012

— Police on Thursday said at least three people have been robbed in Durham in recent weeks while meeting someone to buy or sell goods.

Investigators call the crimes “robberies by appointment" because the victims agreed online or through social media to meet with the people who wound up robbing them.

A man told police that he went to the 400 block of Discovery Way Dec. 21 to purchase a discounted iPad from a man he had met earlier at a flea market. The seller pulled up in a green Toyota Camry, pulled out a gun and took the man’s keys and phone.

On Dec. 15, a man who had posted an advertisement on Craigslist to sell phones met a potential buyer in a parking lot in the 100 block of West Morgan Street. When the man pulled out the phones, the potential buyer pepper sprayed him and took the phones, police said.

The robbery was similar to one that occurred on Nov. 21 at the same location, police said. In that case, the suspect fled in a 2011 tan Toyota Camry.

Police said there have been several similar incidents reported in Durham this year.

They advise people who are meeting strangers to buy or sell items to meet in a public place during the day and either have a friend accompany them or tell someone where they are going. Other tips include save all communications with the buyer or seller and not to carry a lot of cash or divulge personal information.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

7 Comments

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  • JoJo82 Dec 28, 12:25 p.m.

    If you need to meet someone to complete a transaction, either as a buyer or seller, ask them to meet you in the parking lot of your local police sub-station. The potential robber might rethink the crime they are contemplating! - werewolfwoman

    Great idea! I'm sure all parties involved would agree to this if they don't have ulterior motives.

  • werewolfwoman Dec 28, 11:58 a.m.

    If you need to meet someone to complete a transaction, either as a buyer or seller, ask them to meet you in the parking lot of your local police sub-station. The potential robber might rethink the crime they are contemplating!

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 28, 9:59 a.m.

    I'm sure it happens elsewhere, just that Durham is reporting it. It's bad ya can't sell stuff on WRAL site, or even craglist, without getting hits from scammer, wanting to send ya money and not even seen what your selling. Want ya to cash the check and give extra money to some agent who'll pick it. Sure sign of a scam.

  • ginny159 Dec 28, 9:35 a.m.

    "Durham? these people should know better." chrisnrali

    Enjoy living in your bubble.

  • Phyxius1 Dec 28, 9:01 a.m.

    "durham? these people should know better."
    chrisnrali

    Glad to see Durham PD is at least warning the people to be aware of what is happening with CL ads vs other counties PD not. You see stories all around about this as well as rapes/murders and other thefts related to CL ads all over the US over the years. I sell on CL and NEVER let people come to my home and usually meet people in a busy area and usually have someone with me. I ask what kind of car they are driving so I can be the one to make contact first so I can see who I`m about to deal with. Be smart about it as these days you never know who you are dealing with.

  • GravyPig Dec 28, 8:46 a.m.

    "durham? these people should know better."

    You're right, this kind of thing only happens in Durham.

  • chrisnrali Dec 28, 8:28 a.m.

    durham? these people should know better.